2017 in Review

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In January, we took Monkey to Monster Mini Golf in Edmonton. It was his first mini golf experience. He was a little scared at first because of the monster theme and the black lights, but he really enjoyed the mini golf!

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In February we attended the grand opening party of Mastermind Toys in Lethbridge. Monkey got to meet Chase from Paw Patrol!

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After begging for months to let him ride a subway, we caved and took Monkey for a ride on the LRT in Edmonton for the first time. It was actually less smelly than I expected.

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In April, I helped pull this baby calf out of its mom. That was the first time I had ever helped with calving and it was a completely exhausting, slightly disgusting, and super special experience.

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I went to Calgary Comic Con and got to meet Ruth Connell.

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And the Hillywood girls!

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And Peter Capaldi! He is such a stellar individual. He made this experience so special for Monkey and his best friend, the little Doctor. He took a break from signing autographs later in the day to come chat with them. Monkey was dressed as the T-rex that swallowed the Tardis in Peter Capaldi’s first full episode. He told Monkey not to swallow any more Tardises because that will give him a tummy ache. Monkey was awe struck to be meeting the real Doctor. He just stared and nodded.

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In May, my friend Andi came for a visit on her way to moving to Alaska. She was one of my best friends in high school and I hadn’t seen her in almost 7 years, so that was an awesome fun time. We even saw a bear when we went to Waterton!

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Monkey turned 4 and he had a Pokemon themed party. My mother in law really wanted to provide a roasted pig, so we told him Charmander roasted it for him.

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In June, we went to Lethbridge Pride. Monkey spent over an hour in line to get that Spiderman face paint and we missed Crissy’s performance, but we were able to get a picture later. To this day, Monkey still thinks he met the real Wonder Woman.

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In July Monkey and I roadtripped down to Utah to visit family. My mom promised to take him to the University of Utah Natural History Museum to see the dinosaurs. It’s at a different location than when I was a kid and the sandbox where you can pretend to dig out dinosaur bones is way smaller now, but he still loved it.

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He also loved the Clark Planetarium, which is also in a different place than it was when I was a kid. That’s ok, though, because the free section of the planetarium is way cooler than it was when I went as a kid. We got to pretend to give a weather forecast from Mars!

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While my parents took Monkey to Disney, I headed to Universal and Islands of Adventure with my best friend. I went to Hogwarts and Jurassic Park on the same day!

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And oh my gosh there is an actual fire breathing dragon in Diagon Alley! So cool!

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In August we went to the Calgary Zoo for the first time. They have a dinosaur section that Monkey loved! He also loved the otters, giraffes, and penguins.

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We continued our annual tradition of cramming 4 generations into a combine and letting Monkey harvest canola. I wish someone had been there to take a picture of how we crammed in there. Monkey was on my grandpa’s lap, my grandpa was sitting behind the wheel, my mom was on the seat next to him, and I was sitting on my grandpa’s lunch pail on the floor. It was a really tight squeeze, and it only gets tighter every year as Monkey keeps growing.

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Monkey’s in pre-kindergarten this year. He loves his teacher and has some great friends at school.

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We went up to Edmonton for a weekend in September and went to the Telus World of Science Pixar exhibit as a family. Monkey was ecstatic!

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I published a new book this year! It’s the third in the Red 72 series and follows Jordan Carroll’s daughter Candace as she navigates adulting, university, and the ever increasing threat of more biochemical terrorist attacks. It’s available here. Book one of the series available¬†here, book two here. See all my books here.

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I traveled to several expos to promote my books and I had a great time meeting fans and fellow creators.

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Edmonton Expo is always my favorite convention to be a guest at. In addition to hosting my own panel on how to self publish, I got to moderate three panels. The best one was called Centuries of Experience, but the guests Larry Hama, Fabian Nicieza, Bob Budianski, and Bob Hall called it “the old Marvel guys panel.” It was such an awesome experience to get to talk to these talented artists and writers who worked on all of my favorite comics. I even was able to get them to autograph comics for me!

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For Halloween, Monkey dressed up as a sailor in a costume one of his Navy penpals sent him. Monkey is completely obsessed with the US Navy. He has several penpals that he corresponds with regularly via email and snail mail. The one who sent him this costume is currently deployed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

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The last weekend in November, we attended an event out town puts on called Hometown Christmas. We saw a tree lighting, drank lots of hot chocolate, and of course Monkey went to meet Santa. He asked for the movie Cars 3, and he was delighted when it was under the tree waiting for him on Christmas morning.

I hope you all had a year as good as ours was. See you in 2018!

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